More than just melting pot and music
Those who know Berlin see Neukölln as a Bohemian village: formerly known as Rixdorf, the district was once home to Bohemian refugees who settled around Richardplatz. To this day, Neukölln is a melting pot of cultures with plenty to discover: from the highly respected Neukölln opera house and the Puppet Theatre Museum, which is not just popular with children, to Britz Garden and Britz Castle. Not to mention the legendary Turkish market at Maybachufer and the 48h Neukölln Festival. More information ...
- Stroll through the Britzer Garten (park), one of Germany’s most beautiful landscape parks and gardens.
- Experience Berlin’s famed nightlife at a drag queen show in the Theater im Keller.
- Visit the Hufeisensiedlung Modernism estate, inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a key work in Berlin’s residential architecture.
- In June and November, explore the cultural diversity of the NachtundNebel and 48 Stunden Neukölln arts festivals.
- Discover the city’s history in the Museum Neukölln, awarded the Council of Europe Museum Prize.
Originally built as a timber-framed house in 1547, Schloss Britz was converted in the style of the Italian Renaissance at the end of the 19th century. Today, visitors can explore the faithfully restored rooms, furniture and works of art from the Gründerzeit period. Guided tours, piano recitals and singing evenings are regularly held here, along with exhibitions. The gardens are open daily.
The horseshoe-shaped estate (around Fritz-Reuter-Allee between Parchimer and Blaschkoallee) is an architectural rarity from the 1920s and 1930s. Built according to plans by Bruno Taut and Martin Wagner, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in July 2008.
The Reuter quarter is Neukölln's alternative to Kreuzberg. There are a number of restaurants and cafés between Kottbusser Damm and Maybachufer, Reuterstrasse and Sonnenallee. The neighbourhood's maze of streets is becoming home to more and more creative businesses, artists and designer labels that have developed their own unique identity.
Between Karl-Marx-Strasse and Sonnenallee is Rixdorf – the historical centre of the district with Richardplatz at its heart. History is brought to life around every corner here. Along Kirchgasse as far as Richardplatz you can still see the remains of the Bohemian village dating from the middle of the 19th century. The winding streets of Alt-Rixdorf with their small shops and courtyards with flowers and vegetable patches are more reminiscent of a village than a big city. Other attractions include Comenius Garden, the 15th-century Bethlehem Church, the village smithy, St. Magdalene's Church and the Bohemian Museum in the old schoolhouse.
Neukölln Museum has already received the Council of Europe Museum Prize. Every year it stages an exhibition on a new theme of public interest.
The Bohemian graveyard at Karl-Marx-Platz was set aside for Protestant religious refugees from Bohemia, with the oldest grave stone dating back to 1755.
The Lilienthalstraße cemetery recalls the many victims of the Second World War and is home to a huge English oak towering above the adjoining wall. The tree is under nature preservation protection has a circumference of approx. 4 meters and is about 18 meters high and 15 meters across.
Neukölln Architecture Walk
Neukölln’s town hall and the neighbouring district court are examples of modern Neo-Renaissance structures built around the turn of the last century. They stand in contrast to the houses at Fuldastr. 22-23, designed in Bruno Taut in the 1920s for use as social housing. A little further south at Werbellinstr. 50 is the Kindl brewery, a listed piece of industrial architecture worth checking out.
Going Local: Where the world is at home
The tour directions for the walk shown in the video can be found in the “Going Local” brochure available in the visitBerlin shop. Order yours today.
Going out, cultural scene
Neukölln is home to a number of different nationalities and this is reflected in the local cuisine. Things are really buzzing here: the creative scene keeps on growing and in addition to bars you'll find galleries, designer labels and theatres.
Neukölln opera house
Neukölln opera house has a repertoire that ranges from classical to avant-garde and experimental pieces.
'Heimathafen' in the Saalbau Neukölln
The 'Heimathafen Neukölln' folk theatre complex breathes new life into old Berlin farces and brings modern-day Neukölln to the stage with contemporary productions.
A quarter of Neukölln is green space. The district's four parks and numerous sports facilities are a great place to relax and keep fit.
Recreation in baroque-style surroundings with a café and gallery (www.körnerpark.de)
'Horticultural schools' present life in accordance with the philosophy of Johann Amos Comenius who died in Amsterdam in 1670.
Britz Garden and museum railway
The former site of the Federal Garden Show is now a 90-hectare garden that offers a unique combination of countryside, architecture and art.
An idyllic garden memorial, which captivates visitors with its beautiful fountain, a plane-tree alley and a water basin.
Kletterhalle (climbing gym) Neukölln
Prepare for a real climbing adventure.
Werner Seelenbinder Sportpark Neukölln
Big Sports. Numerous football grounds, a sports hall and even an ice rink create a real oasis of sports.
Neukölln has everything a keen shopper's heart could desire. It has the largest shopping mall to be found within 500km of the city, as well as a variety of markets offering a fascinating, colourful and creative range of products. The Neukölln treasure map guides visitors to vintage shops, cafés and galleries.
Berlin's largest shopping centre
Shopping along Neukölln's main shopping street
Market at Maybachufer
Probably the most famous of Neukölln's eight markets.
- A visit to Stadtbad Neukölln, designed by Reinhold Kiehl and opened in 1914, is an experience that combines fun with a bit of cultural history. Kiehl oriented the design of the bathhouse on the thermal bathhouses of antiquity. The building’s shape is modelled on the design of Greek temples and basilicas.
- Lilienthalstraße offers a couple of other surprises: The St. Johannes Basilika (Lilienthalstraße 3) was built in 1894-96 by Kaiser Wilhelm II; the adjacent apostolic nunciature (Lilienthalstraße 3a) has been home to the Vatican’s ambassador to Germany since 2000.
- The Puppet Theatre Museum offers puppet theatre performances, guided tours and workshops for adults and children.
- The architecture of the Şehitlik mosque on Columbiadamm is reminiscent of Ottoman architecture of the 16th and 17th centuries. The oldest Islamic cemetery in Germany is adjacent.
- You can experience genuine Rixdorf-style folk theatre at Heimathafen Neukölln.
- You can choose to spend the night in the quite unconventional, yet comfortable Hüttenpalast, either in a caravan or small wooden palace. Perfect for a summer’s camp-out in the heart of winter. Coffee and croissant for breakfast included.
Other neighbourhood tips can be found in our free “Going Local Berlin” app. Download your copy today and check it out.
You may also want to check our series of posts on Berlin’s districts in the visitBerlin blog.
48 Stunden Neukölln
Berlin's largest art and culture festival, takes place every year at the end of June.
Nacht und Nebel (night and fog)
Every November the local galleries open their doors to the public and there's also a vibrant blend of performance, dance, installations and films.
Alt-Rixdorf Christmas market
The traditional Christmas market is held every year on the second weekend of Advent around Richardplatz square.
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